Author Archives: Beth

Manuela O. – Mandatory Unmedicated Birth

Anyone who knows me reasonably well knows that I do not tolerate physical pain well.  Knowing this about myself, when I got pregnant with our baby girl, I began to worry about how I would handle the birthing process.  For this reason, I thought I should get all the support available to me, including hiring a doula. Although the thought of a vaginal birth without epidural appealed to me from a theoretical perspective–I would avoid the risks related to the epidural injection and the side effects of the medication–in my heart of hearts I believed I could not endure a natural birth and I would surely have an epidural.  My husband agreed pretty wholeheartedly… We even began asking around about what nurse anaesthetist to avoid and we had two solid names down! I researched doulas in the region and Beth Mathis was recommended. We met with Beth and both my husband and I thought she would be a good fit for “a little extra support.”  

As it turns out, Beth became the single most important support to me in the delivery room in the hardest moments of my life so far.  As it turned out, I had NO CHOICE but to have an unmedicated vaginal birth. Through a fluke development, my platelets suddenly dropped dangerously low so I could not get an epidural or spinal.  My only option was C-section under general anesthesia as a last resort due to risk of bleeding. I was not dilating, so I ended up getting the maximum dose of pitocyn, as well, which I’m told makes the contractions a lot more painful, and I believe it.  I received pitocyn and labored progressively for about 48 hours, and then pushed for about 4 hours. It took 1.5 hours to suture me up at the end. When it was all over, everyone was congratulating me, saying, “Wow, you did it, I did not think you had it in you!  I kept on saying, and repeat it today, “No, I did not have it in me. I feel that I could not have done what I’ve done without Beth.” Beth coached me through the pain and helped me control the urge to push. Holding her hand, looking in her eyes, and breathing as she was instructing me was the only way I felt I could make it through each contraction.  At one point, I remember focusing on just one of Beth’s eyes. I was assigned a very competent, experienced, and kind labor and delivery nurse, but I found that my already established relationship with and trust in Beth was very important to me during those moments of crisis. I could not respond to anyone else.     

Beth also helped me write a birth plan, gave me a list of things to pack for the hospital, and followed up with us and offered her advice multiple times after we came home with our baby girl.  I feel I did not even take full advantage of her expertise before and after birth–before because I stayed way too busy, and after because I was in survival mode and was listening to no one. But the truth is that I hired Beth to help me with the delivery and she became my Godsent deliverer.  

If you are considering an unmedicated vaginal birth, OR ANY KIND OF BIRTH, because you can never predict what will happen, meet with Beth.  She will gain your trust (because she is trustworthy) and will provide highly competent support during birth, as well as expert advice during pregnancy and postpartum.

Jamil – From the partner’s perspective

Being the man, you might think you have it easy; especially compared to the one actually giving birth.  This was our first child, and I can tell you from experience, as the man, and the father, it was truly the most difficult experience.  Hiring a doula was the best thing I did, and not probably, but for sure.  Without a doula I would have been completely lost, especially this being our first.  (Beth came in early in the morning, just a little bit before my wife went through contractions, and had a fresh cup of coffee for me, and from that point, she told me to leave and do what I needed to do; eat, smoke, or whatever I wanted to do.  I ran outside, had a quick smoke, and came back to my wife.  Beth was there sitting by my wife the whole time, until she started contractions.  Beth was there the whole time coaching my wife, and massaging my wife the whole time, as I was walking around frantically not knowing what to do, but she was there and made sure my wife and I were ok.  At one point, she told me to go have lunch, it was around noon or so, and I told her that I didn’t have an appetite, and I just stayed.  I felt really bad after an hour of her telling me to go have lunch realizing that she hadn’t had a lunch yet, so I told her to go and eat something, and she didn’t, she stayed with us the whole time, giving my wife points on how to make the contractions go easier.  During the actual birthing process, I thought I lost both my wife and son, not knowing what to do, but Beth was calm and made me calm down too, and said that everything is fine and normal, a few minutes later I heard my son crying- my wife went through a pretty hard labor and was a little out of the norm.  After the birth, Beth stayed for another hour to make sure all our questions were answered and that we were all comfortable, and after that she left so we could be with our baby.  2 weeks after that, Beth came to our apartment to check up on us, coached my wife some more on being a new mom, and just really helped us and made us comfortable.  Words cannot describe how helpful Beth was to us, and for as much as she charged us, she was definitely worth 3 times more than that, and my wife and I both decided that we were going to hire Beth for our second child.  Whoever decides to have their first child, or more, you should definitely hire a doula, and I recommend Beth from personal experience.

Jamil

Alicia C.

In thinking about the birth of our first child my husband James and I wanted someone with experience and knowledge to be there that could support and coach both of us through the whole process. We were so glad that we chose to have Beth as our doula! She was fabulous and did more for us than we could have ever imagined! She helped us well before the birth by going with us to our doctor appointment, talking with us in depth about a birth plan and giving me specific exercises, stretches and remedies to prepare for the birth. Beth would always keep in touch with me and she answered all of my questions and concerns when I had them. The night I went into labor Beth came to our house in the snow around 3am! Talk about dedication!!! She was with us every step of the way until our daughter was born 18 hours later! My goal was to give birth as naturally as possible and Beth was a huge part of me reaching that goal! I was able to give birth without a c-section, epidural or even pain medications. Beth’s advice from the start to “take each contraction as they come” and to “focus on something through the contractions” helped me immensely. Beth gave me the courage I needed when I doubted myself that I could keep going at times. Her experience helped me through the difficult parts of labor when I thought it would never end or that I wasn’t strong enough to continue. She was the voice of reason and always pointed out my strengths and what I could focus on next. She gave so many helpful suggestions about positioning, when to go walking, go in the jacuzzi tub, etc. and was a wonderful birthing coach! My husband was so grateful Beth was there to help him through the process and give suggestions so that he could participate as much as possible too. Even after the birth she stayed until all 3 of us were settled and she came and visited once we were home to see how things were going and if we had any questions or concerns. I am extremely grateful to Beth for all of her efforts! She is a wonderful, thoughtful and caring person who knows a lot about the birthing process. Beth will forever be a part of our birth story and we are so happy that she is! Her passion for the birthing experience and to empower women in their journey to motherhood sets her apart from the rest. I highly recommend Beth as a Doula!

Happy Mom – Alicia C.